Inspirations, theories and research

This is nowhere near an extensive list, but here are some of the big inspirations, theories and research that have influenced my thinking over the past few years (in no particular order):

Papers and other publications:

“Supporting future-oriented learning & teaching — a New Zealand perspective.”
Report to the Ministry of Education
R Bolstad & J Gilbert with S McDowall, A Bull, S Boyd & R Hipkins

“Taking a ‘future focus’ in education. What does it mean?”
Rachel Bolstad

“Future-focused Learning in Connected Communities”
A report by the 21st Century Learning Reference Group

“The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire practice”
Edited by Hanna Dumont, David Istance and Francisco Benavides

“Four ‘Pillars of Learning’ for the Reorientation and Reorganization of Curriculum: Reflections and Discussions”
Zhou Nan-Zhao

“Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment”
Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam

“How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better”
McKinsey & Company

Horizon Reports
EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative

Primary Years Programme – International Baccalaureate

“Different ways of thinking about learning”
Rosemary Hipkins

International Journal of Self-Directed Learning
Publications from 2004-Present, available from

“Transitioning from talking democratically to thinking democratically and acting democratically”
Chris Jane Brough

“Why is education so difficult and contentious”
Kieran Egan

“The place of myth in educational change” (this paper is a shortened version of Beeby, 1986: Introduction. In Moving targets: six essays on educational policy, by W. Renwick (pp. xi-xlv), published in NZ Listener in 1986, and then republished in Education Aotearoa in 2010.
C.E. Beeby

“School science is like wrestling with an octopus.”
Jane Gilbert

“A possible future? Senior secondary education in the year 2030. ”
Bolstad, R.

The knowledge-producing school: moving away from the work of finding educational problems for which computers are solutions.
Bigum, C.

“Are we there yet? Sixty years of educational sociology and equality in Aoteraroa/New Zealand.”
Gilbert, J.
In: Looking back from the centre: A snapshot of contemporary education in New Zealand, edited by K. Stevens & J. Kidman.

Pink Collar Future
Blog post by – Jamais Cascio

Freakonomics Radio – How safe is your job?

“Less like a robot: A comparison of change in an inner-city school and a Fortune 500 company.”

“The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice”
Practitioner Guide from the Innovative Learning Environments Project

“Developing the teachers we want for the schools we need.”
Garvey Berger, J. in SET

“A change theory: Key concepts for understanding the work of Robert Kegan.”
Garvey Berger, J. From


“The Element”
Sir Ken Robinson

“Clarity in the Classroom”
Michael Absolum

“Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement”
John Hattie

“Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Teaching”
John Hattie

“Catching the Knowledge Wave”
Jane Gilbert

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”
Susan Cain

Daniel Pink

“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”
Carol Dweck

“Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success”
Arthur L. Costa, ‎Bena Kallick

“Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking”
Malcom Gladwell

“Outliers: The Story of Success”
Malcom Gladwell

“David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”
Malcom Gladwell

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

“The Hidden Lives of Learners”
Graham Nuthall

“The Daily Five” and “The CAFE Book”
Gail Boushey & Joan Moser

“Building Learning Power”
Guy Claxton

“Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom”
Daniel T. Willingham

“Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World”
David Perkins

“The Educated Mind: how cognitive tools shape our understanding”
Kieran Egan

“What’s the point of school? Rediscovering the heart of education”
Guy Claxton

“Creating the Future School”
Hedley Beare

“Unique Creation: Possible futures – four scenarios for 21st century schooling”
Riel Miller & Tom Bentley.

“Knowledge, values and educational policy – a critical perspective”
Edited by: H. Daniels, H. Lauder & J Porter

“Out of our minds – learning to be creative”
Ken Robinson

“Myths and Realities: Schooling in New Zealand”
A. Jones, J. Marshall, K. Morris Matthews, G. Smith & L. Smith

“Race against the machine: how the digital revolution is accelerating innovation, driving productivity, and irreversibly transforming employment and the economy.”
Bryjolfsson, E. & McAfee, A.

“The App Generation: How today’s youth navigate identity intimacy and imagination in a digital world. ”
Gardner, H. and Davis, K.

“Get off the grass: Kickstarting New Zealand’s innovation economy. ”
Hendy, S. & Callagahan, P.

“Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world.”
Wagner, T.

“Program or be programmed: Ten commands for a digital age. ”
Rushkoff, D.

“The filter bubble: How the new personalised web is changing what we read and how we think. ”
Pariser, E.

“Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other.”
Turkle, S.

“Deconstructing digital natives: Young people, technology and the new literacies.”
Thomas, M.

“Education and Mind in the Knowledge Age”
Carl Bereiter

“Knowledge Building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology.”
Scardamalia, M. & Bereiter, C.
In: K. Sawyer (ed.) Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences.

” Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room.”
Weinberger, D

“Someone has to fail: The zero-sum game of public schooling.”
Labaree, D.

“The Curriculum of the Future.”
Young, M.

“Simple Habits for Complex Times.”
Garvey-Berger, J and Johnston, K.

“Future: All the Maters.”
Sadar, Z.

“Learning Futures: Education, Technology and Social Change.”
Facer, K.

“10 Billion”
Emmott, S.

“Future: All that matters.”
Sardar, Z.

“Complexity and Education: Inquiries into learning, teaching and research.”
Davis, B. & Sumara, D.

“Simple habits for complex times.”
Garvey Berger, J & Johnstone, K.

“Leadership and the new science – discovering order in a chaotic world.”
Wheatley, M.

“Complexity – a very short introduction.”
Holland, J.

“Complexity: a guided tour.”
Mitchell, M.

“In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life.”
Kegan, R.

Blogs and sites:



Why is Education so Difficult and Contentious? – Kieran Egan

Ten classic TED Talks on education

Changing Education Paradigms – Ken Robinson

Death is optional – Daniel Kahneman

Can schools prepare you for anything? – Guy Claxton

What do babies think? – Alison Gopnik

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